With the name change to Connect in 2013, the welcome reception/pool party changed somewhat. Instead of taking place at the pools/beach area between Swan and Dolphin, it started inside in the showcase area (Atlantic hall), and then moved outside for food, drinks and entertainment.
From what it looks like on the Connect 2014 website, and based on Chris Miller’s blog post, it sounds like the traditional poolside party is no more. The Connect website also only mention snacks and beverages.
However, according to IBM, the website is not clear enough at the moment (they say it will be fixed/updated). The poolside party will still take place, according to IBM. The showcase reception starts at 6.30pm and goes on until 8pm. The poolside party starts at at 7.30 and goes on to 9.30. This is longer than previous years, allowing the exhibitors to attent the party as well.